Your west end wishlist 2023

By Andrea Gunn

The west end of Kingston has several unique small businesses with great options for gift-giving. This holiday season, shop locally for holiday gifts – and even some special workshop experiences! Read on to learn where you can buy handmade chocolate, board games, kids’ books, lambswool blankets, hand-blown glassware, and more, all in Kingston’s west end.


Amaranth Stoneware

745 Development Dr.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10 am to 6 pm; Thursday: 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday: 10 am to 3 pm

Amaranth offers a variety of pottery-making one-day workshops and multi-day classes. Learn to make a mug, bowl, Christmas ornament, or winter lantern. Amaranth also has a variety of handmade stoneware items for sale, from bowls to bird feeders.


Cocoa Bistro

840 Development Dr.

Tuesday through Friday: 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm

Pick up a box of handmade truffles and customize it with classic flavours like Dark Sea Salt Caramel and seasonal flavours like Peppermint Latte, and Fig-tastic. If you’re looking for a really memorable experience, you can also book a two-hour chocolate-making workshop with chocolatier Audrey.


Kingston Glass Studio

3071 Burbrook Rd.

Wednesday through Friday: 10 am to 4 pm, or by appointment

Just north of Highway 401, but well worth the short drive, Kingston Glass Studio offers a variety of stunning, light-catching, hand-blown glass pieces, from beautiful drinkware and bowls to whimsical ornaments, delicate jewelry, and sculptural art. The studio also offers gift certificates for private glass-blowing lessons.


Improbable Escapes Wonderland

500 Gardiners Rd

Retail hours: Mon., Tues., Fri., Sat.: 2 to 9 pm; Sun.: 11:30 am to 6:30 pm

Escape room hours: Monday through Thursday: 1:15 pm to 7:30 pm; Friday: 1:15 to 9 pm; Saturday: 10:15 to 9 pm; Sunday: 10:15 to 7:30 pm

Improbable Escapes Wonderland doesn’t just offer escape rooms: it also has a huge variety of board games for sale, from escape room board games to D&D expansions to classic and kid-friendly games. And if you’ve got a houseful of guests to entertain at home for the weekend, you can also rent a board game for up to three days from their extensive library!


Purlin’ J’s Yarn Emporium

675 Arlington Park Pl.

Tues., Thur., Fri., Sat.: 10 am to 4 pm; Wed.: 10 am to 8 pm

Kingston’s only mobile yarn truck (seen at many craft and artisan fairs) put down roots in 2022 with a brick-and-mortar shop in the west end. Find the perfect gift for the knitter in your life, from specialty yarns to sock kits to stitchable ornaments. You can also sign up for a knitting or crocheting workshop.


MAC’s Chocolate and Bakeshop

2792 Princess St.

Wed.: 8 am to 3 pm; Thur., Fri.: 8 am to 4 pm; Sat.: 9 am to 4 pm; Sun.: 9 am to 3 pm

Wow everyone at the holiday party with a cheesecake from MAC’s. Or pick up a dozen donuts and choose from fillings like chocolate ganache, maple and candied pecan, and lemon meringue. MAC’s also makes specialty chocolate bars that are perfect for stocking stuffers.



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2800 Princess St.

Mon. to Sat.: 9:30 am to 5 pm

Bookland has a huge variety of books for everyone on your holiday gift list. The store has everything from picture books to YA, graphic novels and manga, literature, biography, mystery, and more. Bookland has an exceptionally wide selection of kids’ books, with new arrivals every week.


British Isles Shoppe

747 Gardiners Rd.

Seven days a week, 10 am to 6 pm

The British Isles Shoppe has a wide variety of clothing and gifts from England, Scotland, and Ireland. Whether you’re looking for a fun present for a Coronation Street fan or a lambswool tartan cape (or baby blanket) to keep someone warm this winter, this store has a lot of unique gift ideas.


Very Shari

714 Front Rd.

Wed.: noon to 5 pm; Thur.–Fri.: 10 am to 5 pm; Sat.: 10 am to 4 pm; Sun.: 10 am to 3 pm

Very Shari has a huge selection of sterling silver jewelry, from the simple to the ornate, as well as tumbled stones, candles, and other unique gift items.